Broadcasting & Cable: The Business of Television: "The Corporation for Public Broadcasting Board of Directors said Thursday that embattled former board chairman Ken Tomlinson has resigned.
The board has been reviewing a CPB Inspector General's report--called for by a pair of congressmen--on Tomlinson's relationship with the board stemming from Tomlinson's attempts to add more conservative programming.
The board said in a statement: '[F]ormer chairman Kenneth Y. Tomlinson has resigned from the CPB board. The board does not believe that Mr. Tomlinson acted maliciously or with any intent to harm CPB or public broadcasting, and the board recognizes that Mr. Tomlinson strongly disputes the findings in the soon-to-be-released Inspector General’s report.
'The board expresses its disappointment in the performance of former key staff whose responsibility it was to advise the board and its members.
'Nonetheless, both the board and Mr. Tomlinson believe it is in the best interests of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting that he no longer remain on the board."
Score one for Bill Moyers and Link TV. They have been broadcasting the speech Bill Moyers gave in May to the "National Conference on Media Reform" in St Louis.
Exerpt of speech
We didn’t know this a year ago. We just learned it from The New York Times two weeks ago that last year Mr. Tomlinson had spend ten thousand dollars to hire a contractor who would watch my show and report on political bias. That’s right. He spent ten thousand dollars of your money to hire a guy to watch “NOW” to find out who my guests were and what my stories were. Ten thousand dollars. Gee, Ken, for two dollars and fifty cents a week, you could pick up a copy of TV Guide on the newsstand. A subscription is even cheaper, and I would have sent you a coupon that can save you up to sixty-two percent. Or, for that matter, Ken, all you had to do was watch the show. You could have made it easier with a double Jim Beam, your favorite. Or you could -- mine, too. We have some things in common. Or you could go online, where the listings are posted. Hell, Ken, you could have called me collect, and I would have told you who we were having on the show.
The public paid for that study, but Ken Tomlinson acts as if he owns it. Let’s see it. You can watch my bias. You can watch my mistakes. You can watch everything I do right there on the air. We have the funders listed, everything is there, it’s all listed. But he won’t do it. In a May 10th op-ed piece in Reverend Moon’s conservative Washington Times, Ken Tomlinson maintained he had not released the findings because public broadcasting is such a delicate institution he did not want to, (quote), “damage public broadcasting’s image with controversy.” Where I come from in Texas, we shovel that kind of stuff every day.
As we learned this week, that’s not the only news Mr. Tomlinson tried to keep to himself. As Dr. Wilson indicated, and as reported by Jeff Chester’s Center for Digital Democracy, which the Human Center for Media and Democracy also support, there were two public opinion surveys commissioned by CPB, but not released to the media, not even to PBS and NPR. According to a source who talked to Salon.com, the first results were too good and Tomlinson didn’t believe them. After the Iraq war, the board commissioned another round of polling, and they thought they’d get worse results, but they didn’t.
This is the man, by the way, who was running the Voice of America back in 1984 when a fanatic named Charlie Wick was politicizing the United States Information Agency of which Voice of America was a part. It turned out there was a blacklist of people who had been removed from the list of prominent Americans sent abroad to lecture on behalf of America and the USIA. What’s more, it was discovered that evidence as to how those people were chosen to be on the blacklist, more than seven hundred documents, had been shredded. Among those on the blacklist of journalists, writers, scholars and politicians were dangerous left wing subversives like Walter Cronkite, James Baldwin, Gary Hart, Ralph Nader, Ben Bradley, Coretta Scott King and David Brinkley.
They did it as part of their fundraising drive. They probably broadcasted it every day for an entire week. Even offered it in DVD form as a gift for being a sustaining member. Needless to say there is a lot of overlap between Link TV and Now viewers.